Seven-footer Thon Maker will attempt to declare for the 2016 NBA Draft while avoiding a season within the collegiate ranks. Born in South Sudan, the 19-year-old currently plays his high school basketball in Canada and believes that he can make a solid case for heading directly to the professional level.

Since he reportedly graduated from high school in Canada in June 2015, Maker is attempting to use his fifth year of high school as a substitute for what would become his freshman year of college.

According to the official regulations of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the rules state that a player can be eligible to declare for the NBA Draft if “the player is or will be at least 19 years of age during the calendar year in which the Draft is held, and, at least one NBA Season has elapsed since the player’s graduation from high school.” Because Maker technically meets both of the aforementioned requirements, he believes that he’ll have a legitimate shot at entering his name into the pool of prospects for this summer.

Even so, it’s taken until recently for Maker’s NBA Draft stock to begin to shift in an upward direction. Yet to dominate a workout or scheduled scouting event, the up-and-coming big man has failed to separate himself from the rest of the pack in terms of his skill level and overall prowess. Additionally, with the larger amount of players entering this year’s draft due to the new regulations, Maker may fall even deeper into the mix of talent.

However, he’s ranked as a top five collegiate prospect for next season by, and perhaps a team falls in love with his potential and uses a first-round round pick on him

Maker also won the MVP awards at the 2015 BWB Americas All-Star Game and the 2015 NBPA Top 100 Camp.

via todaysfastbreak